Buying a good safe is practical and wise investment to make. If you have valuables that merit protection, it’s important to find the best possible safe for your budget. If you need to buy a safe, you need a good safe, not a shoddily constructed one. If you’re simply trying to keep your kids out of your property, a cabinet with a lock will do. But if you’re looking for an incredibly secure area to protect essential valuables, it’s important to find the best one possible - this doesn’t mean that you have to completely break the bank. All safe companies will have a range of options at different price points. Here’s some factors to consider when you’re shopping around. Make sure to know what details to look out for and what questions to ask the manufacturer.
The safest, most sturdy and secure safes are made with continuous welding. This basically means that the weld fuses two metal pieces together perfectly, as opposed to a spot weld, in which multiple pieces are welded at multiple binding points. Vulnerable points in spot welded safes can be broken open with a sledge hammer, drill, torch - or even a specific tool made for that particular purpose. This means, not a safe safe. The best option to invest in is the solid, continuous metal provided in continuously welded safes.
Fire Resistance Ratings
Look into the official tests that the safe was subjected to - make sure to pay attention to the level of heat applied, and how long the test ran for. A safe that was only tested for a short time at a high temperature could technically be just as weak as a safe that was tested for a long time, at a low temperature. If the company cannot provide the details of the testing that the safe underwent in order to merit its rating, you shouldn’t buy from that company. Don’t you want your secure property to be protected?
The complex design of these internal security mechanisms should be able to provide resistance against the most expert of attacks. If the bolt work is shoddily designed so that the locking bolts are linked to the cam of the safe, simply sticking the bolts might open the entire safe. Look at the steel in the locking bolts - the longer that the bolts move into the door frame, the more security the safe will provide against attack. You want as thick and sturdy bolts as possible - as well as rotating lock bolts which will resist any sort of cutting attempt.
If a company provides a lifetime warranty for their product, it’s indicative of high quality products. Warranties differ based on the components of a safe - elements of electronic locks for example, are sometimes bought from outside parties by the manufacturer and integrated into their design. A safe’s dial might have a separate warranty from the safe’s door - this doesn’t usually mean that the safe is poorly designed, unless it’s already cheaply made. You should also pay heed to the country that the safe was manufactured in - safes in China might be able to provide lifetime warranties, as replacement is cheap. The best option is to buy an American made safe, as American factories provide a higher level of quality control than the factories in China.
Most safes have a body which compares only a half or a third to the metal in the door. You want as high a gauge of steel as possible, 12 gauge steel is the absolute lowest level that can be legally defined as a safe - it can be easily broken with a crowbar or fire ax. The way the gauge measurement system works is that the lower the number, the stronger the steel. Having as many layers of stainless steel as possible will help dispel any heat made by torches, not to mention the physical durability that this steel is known for. Definitely don’t trust composite doors, as although they are thick, they have a low steel content, and are vulnerable.
Great safes should last forever, and be passed down throughout generations. While prices vary wildly, it shouldn’t determine what safe you buy, as the quality of safes differ rapidly as well. Ideally, you should be purchasing a safe that perfectly fits your needs, as a long-term essential, not a temporary buy. Think of it as an investment.